Exercise can give your weight loss efforts a huge boost, as well as making you feel happier and healthier. However, when you're just getting into fitness, your options might feel limited. Because jogging and running require little equipment, they're usually people's first attempt at exercise. Although it's great for some people, others simply don't like to jog: If you're in the latter camp, here are 10 workouts that might be a better fit:
Learning how to dance can be a ton of fun, and it also gives you a chance to learn how to express yourself through music. Take a class in ballet or tap if you're looking to have formal dance instruction. If you're worried about your moves, check out Zumba: Since it's more about fitness than dance itself, it won't matter if you feel like you look silly.
This exercise will build strength and flexibility, which will carry over into all other aspects of your health and fitness journey. The best part is, this is one workout you can do right in your living room – that said, it's worth going to a class periodically so an instructor can check your form.
Pilates focuses on getting you to be mindful about the way your body is moving. The idea is that if you're really thinking about the actions you're performing, you'll be able to build more core strength and ability. This is another activity you can do at home, although seeing an instructor every once in a while will motivate you and keep your form strong.
If running and jogging are too hard on your joints, consider swimming instead. Your local fitness center or swimming pool is the perfect place to put in a few laps and get your heart rate going. If you're heading to a public pool, see if it has hours specifically for people looking to swim laps.
Another great option for people who aren't comfortable running, bicycling lets you enjoy the outdoors without putting too much impact on your joints. For the full experience, see if there's a bike trail near you. Beautiful trails will get you going back again and again just to enjoy the sights.
6. Weight lifting
Not only will weight lifting give your body shape and tone, but it will also make you feel like a superhero. Because progress in weight lifting is very tangible, you'll be able to actually see how you're improving. This can be encouraging for people who get bogged down by slow gains. Also, muscles need a lot of energy, which means weight lifting will boost your fat loss efforts.
Once the weather gets cold, skiing is an incredibly fun way to get in a workout. If going down the slopes doesn't get your heart rate going, awkwardly traversing flat areas while in the skis will. Or, if you prefer the flatter experience, you can do cross country skiing instead. The skating motions will give you a great cardio workout as you glide along. Cross-country skiing is a great activity for anyone who enjoys nature, since it gives you an opportunity to get up close and personal with your local parks even when they're difficult to walk through.
The great thing about using tennis for fitness is that it gets you exercising with another person. Having someone else around will motivate you to push a little harder and get more out of your workout. Plus, you can schedule regular matches with your partner to encourage you to keep up the activity.
In-line skating is the perfect exercise for anyone looking to hit their local running trail or explore their neighborhood without putting too much pressure on their joints. Because rolling doesn't have the same repetitive pounding effect as running and jogging, it's a lot easier on your knees. Make sure you wear a helmet, and knee and elbow pads so you're skating safely.
When the weather gets too cold or paths too snowy for wheels, hit an ice skating rink instead. Cold-weather cities usually have outdoor rinks available for you to get in some skating while enjoying the outdoors. Indoor rinks are also lots of fun, and usually have open skating hours where people of any level can glide on the ice.
10. Team sports
Try and find a casual sports league in your area to join, or head out to a park with some friends. The team environment is super encouraging, and games have a clear goal. You'll feel accomplished if you win, and determined to improve if you don't.
Whichever exercise you do, consider asking a friend to join you. Not only will you have more fun if you're with someone else, but you'll also be more inclined to keep going. Pick a workout buddy with similar goals, so you can motivate one another to pursue healthy choices.